Tsunami Mock Drill (IO Wave 2011) conducted in Tsunami Prone Villages of Orissa on 12.10 2011
Orissa State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) organized mock tsunami drills in cyclone shelters of six coastal districts of Orissa on October 12, 2011. This mock exercise was a part of the drill organized simultaneously in 20 Indian Ocean countries including India. The exercise aimed at testing the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS) and to evaluate the system’s operational capacity, the efficiency of communications among the different concerned actors, and the state of preparedness of emergency services. The test also included the evacuation of coastal communities in several countries (notably, India and Malaysia). At the national level, this drill was coordinated by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad is one of Regional Tsunami Advisory Service Providers (RTSPs) in the IOTWS setup. ITEWC participated in this drill, both in its capacity as National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) for India as well as one of the RTSPs for the Indian Ocean region.
The Drill named as “Exercise IOWAVE 11” re-enacted the events of 26 December 2004, with a 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the North West coast of Sumatra (Indonesia), followed by an ocean-wide tsunami. This simulated wave crossed the Indian Ocean in 12 hours to strike the coast of South Africa
Orissa State Disaster Management Authority took a lead role for conducting the mock tsunami drill on October 12, 2011 in six strategic tsunami vulnerable locations in six costal districts. The list of villages is as follows:
Deputy Collector, Emergency of each district was designated as the District Nodal Officer for organising and monitoring the tsunami mock drill. NGO partners were involved at shelter level to facilitate the exercise. District level officers/Block Development Officers/Tahasildars has been engaged as observers for each shelter. State level officers from OSDMA have been deputed to each village as observer. A control room was setup at OSDMA. 05 team of officers and Staff were engaged for dissemination of warning to the district & Block administration and community. The list of Officers/staff of OSDMA engaged for the drill is as follows.
The drill has been conducted with the active involvement of the community, task force members, Cyclone Shelter Management and Maintenance Committee (CSMMC), Village Disaster Management Committees (VDMCs), PRI representatives, NGOs partners and volunteers of the tsunami prone villages linking the concerned Block and District Emergency Operation Centers. Multipurpose cyclone shelters in those villages have been identified as the shelter place for the people during the drill.
During the Mock drill on October 12 2011, ITEWC generated and issued 15 tsunami bulletins to both its National & Regional (IOTWS) contacts through GTS, email, fax, SMS as well as web between 0630 Hrs to 1830 Hrs IST. OSDMA received the 1st Bulletin at 6.32 AM regarding the occurrence of earthquake and possibilities of tsunami threat. OSDMA immediately passed on the bulletin to the district Emergency Operation Centers by Fax and SMS. The local people at the field level were informed by SMS by OSDMA. Subsequent bulletins were issued by INCOIS and sent to community as well as local administration.
The local stakeholders at the field level were informed by SMS. After receipt of warning message from OSDMA, Emergency alertness by Sirens was made at cyclone shelters at 7.15 AM. Immediately after the alertness, the local village volunteers and CSMMC task force members made a transact walk inside the villages and sensitized people for the possible tsunami by handheld megaphone. Then, people started moving to cyclone shelters with their necessary belongings. Physically challenged persons, older people and seek persons were evacuated to cyclone shelters by stretchers and wheel chairs, wherever required, with the help of Handicap International volunteers and task force team members. Search & Rescue and First Aid techniques were demonstrated by the task force members during the drill.
Awareness programme on tsunami was conducted at cyclone shelters with active participation of community, School children and other stake holders. The drill was very successful in Orissa.